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2019 Outback Touring 2.5
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109 Posts
Eliminating the seat belt chime!
Learning there is a spot in the center console to hold a business card, pen and tissues.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,387 Posts
Y-cable for USB ports in cubby hole. This applies only to 2015-2018 models, which have low power USB ports. The Y-cable adds the currents of the two USB ports so your phone will still charge if you are running Google Maps (or any other battery hog). I got one for a few bucks on Ebay. So, if you were thinking about trading in to get a 2019 OB only because of its higher power USB ports, don’t do that. Get this little Y-cable instead!


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2017 Outback, 2.5i Premium
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44 Posts
With cold weather coming up, my "best free mod" may help out some of the Gen 5 owners who hate rattles: If you hear a rattle that seems to be coming from within your dashboard (evident in cold weather in particular), take less than 5 minutes to move the transmission ground cable under the hood near the firewall. Great instructions and photos at https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/dashboard-rattle-anyone-else-resolved.294193/post-4327505. I lived with the rattle for the first couple of months of owning the car (cold weather) then it went away after the weather warmed up, only to retun in the fall. I'm so glad that I came across the solution in this post - been rattle free for two years now.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,387 Posts
With cold weather coming up, my "best free mod" may help out some of the Gen 5 owners who hate rattles: If you hear a rattle that seems to be coming from within your dashboard (evident in cold weather in particular), take less than 5 minutes to move the transmission ground cable under the hood near the firewall. Great instructions and photos at https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/dashboard-rattle-anyone-else-resolved.294193/post-4327505. I lived with the rattle for the first couple of months of owning the car (cold weather) then it went away after the weather warmed up, only to retun in the fall. I'm so glad that I came across the solution in this post - been rattle free for two years now.
Yes. I recall doing that mod even before I got a rattle. I moved the cable and secured its new location with a zip tie. Because I never had the rattle, I forgot I did this mod. I literally had to pop the hood and look to jog my memory.
 

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2011 outback 3.6R LT. 2015 Outback 2.5 (white) eyesight, tow pakage, skid plate, moon roof
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341 Posts
I don't really have a price limit in mind. Free ish.

I wanted to exclude stuff like "skid plates, lift kits, sway bars" as that can get into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

These are some great ideas. I have to go grease the pins on the engine cover immediately.
I did grind the end threads on skid plate bolts to a taper to make it easier to start bolts while holdin up skid plate with one hand. ( thread a nut onto bolt before tapering to chanse threads) Also cut head of longer bolt and screw into rear skid plate fastenr hole. I always push skid plate onto this piot bolt first and thread a nut onto pilto bolt. Makes it a lot easier to swing skid plate up and start tapered front bolts. I alo have added two bolts to the center lift pad using Nutcerts ( not free but cheap. This past Saturday I noticed skid plate does have a whole lot of character dings and scrape marks.
 

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2003 Outback Wagon (totaled prematurely at age 16), 2019 Outback Premium
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6 Posts
Generic rear-cargo area hold-down net:
Cargo net for SUVs
Mine's a Gen 5, 2019 OB / premium trim (i.e. cloth seats b/c I hate leather seats).

The tie-downs in the cargo area are 48" apart ("port to starboard") and 36" ("bow to stern"). This cargo net says it'll stretch to 46" x 35" easily. This one seems to be a bit too small to be practical for mine. Perhaps that's a difference between the trim levels?

Great idea, though; likewise for the other posts. At least now I know what my minimum requirements are. <g>
 

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2019 Outback Limited, 3.6R, Abyss Blue
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151 Posts

I had the thought last week that cars are expensive to own and even more expensive to modify.

If you're like me you probably like modifying/customizing/improving your vehicle even when the budget doesn't allow for dropping money all the time.

So what is the best things you can think of that you can do that cost basically nothing?

I made a list of my top picks:

A Carabineer (D Clip) is great for tying long loads in the car. The clip has to be the same size as the pin for the hatch. Since I have several of these that I've gotten for free I counted it as a free mod but if someone needs one they're typically around a dollar.

Removing the spare tire tray creates a lot more storage space. Great for pack rats such as myself.

Removing the lumbar panel in the front seats makes them much more comfortable. Some people add a paint roller or pool noodle in the panels place.

Blocking the gap between the center console and the seat so change and other objects can't fall into the pit of no return.

Disabling the GPS movement lock out by grounding the VSS signal going into the head unit allows a passenger to input GPS directions when needed. Only need a soldering iron and some wire which you probably have if you have a soldering iron.

I also had to mention the CKE insert for fixing the 18 mph vibration. Even though it's pretty cheap it's still not what I can call free but it is worth every penny.

What are your favorite free changes?
I like the removal of the spare tire foam. I was stunned at how much worse the gen 5 storage cubbies are compared to my gen 4. Less storage under rear floor. Annoying bend in rear floor (not flat), less storage in all door panels. minus one storage compartment in center stack. Smaller glove box. Things I failed to observer before I bought it.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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9,890 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
I like the removal of the spare tire foam. I was stunned at how much worse the gen 5 storage cubbies are compared to my gen 4. Less storage under rear floor. Annoying bend in rear floor (not flat), less storage in all door panels. minus one storage compartment in center stack. Smaller glove box. Things I failed to observer before I bought it.
Are the Gen 4 rear floorboards flat?

Where does the driveshaft go?
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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9,890 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
Specifically, I meant the floor of the rear storage area behind the rear seat (isn't completely flat).
Oh. My mistake. I thought you meant the rear floorboards.

I thought the trunk was flat. Even folding the seats flat is a one step process now. No need to lift the rear seat bottom up like in older generations.
 

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I also had to mention the CKE insert for fixing the 18 mph vibration. Even though it's pretty cheap it's still not what I can call free but it is worth every penny.

What are your favorite free changes?

Is the CKE ok to use without a lift. I do have a vibration @ around 18mph
What is a CKE?
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,387 Posts
Tape down the cover on the rear wiper. After about 100 trips through the automatic car wash, the only damage has been the rear wiper’s cover getting ripped off. After 3 replacements, I finally taped down the cover, problem solved. In real life, this tape is unnoticeable.

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,387 Posts
Use a strap as an anchor point to tie down a load on the roof. This is for OBs that do not have a hitch.

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,387 Posts
Put phone number on fob. If you lose it in public, there is at least a chance of getting your fob back. A phone number not connected to your identity is suitable for the extra cautious folks.

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,387 Posts

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,387 Posts
Disable/inhibit gate button on fob. This prevents accidental gate opening and, thus, prevents battery draining.

 
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